Like two mayors making a friendly wager over the outcome of a Super Bowl, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Beckham have placed a bet on Saturday’s 2018 World Cup quarterfinal between England and Sweden.
Ibrahimovic — who represented Sweden at two World Cups — kicked off the proceedings with an Instagram post directed at Beckham, writing, “Yo @davidbeckham if @england wins I buy you dinner where ever you want in the world, but if @swemnt wins you buy me what ever I want from @ikeasverige ok?”
Beckham — the former England captain — confidently responded, writing, “@iamzlatanibrahimovic if @swemnt win I will personally take you to @ikeasverige and buy you what ever you need for the new mansion in LA @lagalaxy, but when @england win I want you to come watch an @england game at Wembley wearing an England shirt and enjoy fish & chips at half time.”
This is all good fun, and adds yet another layer to what is an intriguing quarterfinal showdown at the World Cup.
If you’re familiar with the greater Los Angeles area, then you’ll know that there is an Ikea store located very close to the stadium that the Los Angeles Galaxy call home, the StubHub Center in Carson. Ibrahimovic, of course, currently plays for the Galaxy. Beckham spent five years with the Galaxy, and helped deliver two MLS Cup titles for the franchise.
If Sweden — the country of Abba — were to win, and Ibrahimovic gets to go on his shopping spree at Ikea — which, we can only imagine would take place in Carson because that is where the Galaxy play — then he might have been smart to also request that Becks help him put that furniture together (Ikea doesn’t assemble itself, you know).
If England — the country of Shakespeare, Churchill, the Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter, David Beckham’s right foot, David Beckham’s left foot — were to win, it’s incredible that the dinner request for Beckham — one of the richest athletes in the world — is fish and chips. Wembley Stadium must have incredible fish and chips.
Ibrahimovic’s Sweden and Beckham’s England last crossed paths at the World Cup in 2006 in Germany. In the final group stage game, England and Sweden played to a 2-2 tie. Beckham served as England’s captain in that game and played the full 90. This was the only game at that World Cup that Ibrahimovic didn’t start, and he also wasn’t used as a substitute. Later, Ibrahimovic and Beckham were also teammates with AC Milan in 2010 and 2011 (Beckham was there on loan from the Galaxy) and with Paris Saint-Germain in 2013.